TOKYO-April 5, 2012-Internet Initiative Japan Inc. (“IIJ”, NASDAQ: IIJI, TSE1: 3774) and ACCESS Co., Ltd., (“ACCESS”), today announced the establishment of Stratosphere Inc., a joint-venture company whose goal is to create a platform for the next-generation cloud computing environment. In order to achieve this goal, the company will first research and develop a suite of software to implement the software defined network (SDN) (*1) concept.

SDN is a much talked about new technology concept that enables network virtualization and automatic operation in a cloud environment. A core technology of SDN called OpenFlow (*2), and software development have been advancing primarily in the U.S. Stratosphere was founded to capitalize on the advanced software development capabilities of ACCESS in the network and mobile technology fields, including SDN, and on IIJ’s cloud and network operating technology expertise, with both companies bringing committing top technologists to quickly develop innovative new products and capture a leading position in the network virtualization market.

Background
The SDN concept came to the foreground when it was discovered that information systems cannot be flexibly built in a cloud environment without a flexible networking environment, because networking is vital to uniting a variety of virtualized computing resources (CPU, memory, storage, etc.) into operational information systems. However, particularly for operators who provide multi-tenant (*3) cloud services with virtualized computing resources deployed on physical computers in multiple data centers in widely separated regions, restrictions due to physical networking and complexities in network configuration management are a bottleneck for flexible and scalable service provision and infrastructure expansion.

The SDN concept resolves these issues by using software to control the configuration of virtual networks which connect multiple virtualized computing resources. With the SDN environment, an arbitrary number of virtual machines can be quickly created and deployed to any location with arbitrary network topologies. This allows us to construct cloud environments that are more flexible than those we have today.

Development plans and schedule
Stratosphere will develop a suite of software for integrated control of the entire cloud environment, from virtual networks built on SDN to IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. Through IIJ and ACCESS’s sales channels, these software products will be sold to data center operators, communications operators, large EC operators, and other similar clients. This spring, Stratosphere will release its first product, a beta version of SDN IaaS that can automatically configure a virtual network through a controller that utilizes OpenFlow protocol. In the fall, the company plans to release commercial products with advanced functionalities and performance optimizations which reflect market demand. In addition, a PaaS that interfaces with the SDN IaaS will be developed in parallel. The company expects to have a full line-up of platform products that control each strata of the cloud environment within this fiscal year.

*1 Software defined network (SDN): A next-generation network concept in which the entire network is controlled (defined) by software in order to dynamically configure the network structure.
*2 OpenFlow: Next-generation network control technology that enables the virtualization of the network. The OpenFlow Switch Consortium advocates for the technology and the Open Networking Foundation promotes standards for OpenFlow.
*3 Multi-tenant: A business model that provides a secure, exclusive virtualized computing environment in which servers, databases, and other resources are shared by multiple user companies in a cloud environment.

Stratosphere Inc. Corporate Outline


Name:           Stratosphere Inc.
Established:   April 5, 2012
Capital:         JPY 100 million
Shareholders:IIJ 50.0%, ACCESS 50.0%
Business:       Research and development of infrastructure software that centrally controls a cloud computing environment
Employees:    About 10 (provided by IIJ and ACCESS)
Executives:    Representative Director and President Toshiya Asaba (Representative Director of IIJ Innovation Institute Inc.)
             Vice President         Kunihiro Ishiguro (ACCESS Senior Executive Officer and CTO)
             Director (part time) Koichi Suzuki (President and CEO of IIJ)
             Director (part time) Nobuya Murofushi (President and CEO of ACCESS)
             Standing Auditor     Naoshi Yoneyama (Executive Officer of IIJ)
             Standing Auditor     Shoji Ando(ACCESS Manager of the Office of the President)
Address:        Kanda Jimbocho 1-105, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo


Why “Stratosphere”?
The stratosphere is a part of the Earth’s atmosphere that is above the clouds, representing our goal of going beyond the cloud. The stratosphere is also very stable and covers the more turbulent troposphere, which reflects our mission to provide technology to engulf the entire cloud computing environment and stabilize and develop it.

About IIJ
Founded in 1992, Internet Initiative Japan Inc. (IIJ, NASDAQ: IIJI, Tokyo Stock Exchange TSE1: 3774) is one of Japan’s leading Internet-access and comprehensive network solutions providers. IIJ and its group of companies provide total network solutions that mainly cater to high-end corporate customers. The company’s services include high-quality systems integration and cloud computing/data center services, security services, Internet access, and content distribution. Moreover, the company has built one of the largest Internet backbone networks in Japan, and between Japan and the United States. IIJ was listed on NASDAQ in 1999 and on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2006. For more information about IIJ, visit the IIJ Web site at http://www.iij.ad.jp/en/.

The statements within this release contain forward-looking statements about our future plans that involve risk and uncertainty. These statements may differ materially from actual future events or results. Readers are referred to the documents furnished by Internet Initiative Japan Inc. with the SEC, specifically the most recent reports on Forms 20-F and 6-K, which identify important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements.

About ACCESS
ACCESS CO., LTD. is a global company providing leading technology, software products and platforms for web browsing, smart phones and tablets, digital TVs, and other networked devices as well as networks. ACCESS product portfolio include its NetFront series and ZebOS®® network platform, which provide customers with solutions that enable faster time to market, flexibility and customizability. ACCESS is delivering high value-added services for multiple mobile devices with its ACCESS Digital Publishing Ecosystem for cloud-based, cross-platform digital publishing and NetAd for mobile advertising. The company, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, operates subsidiaries and affiliates in Asia, Europe and the United States. ACCESS is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers’ Index under the number 4813. For more information about ACCESS, please visit www.access-company.com.


* ACESSS, the ACCESS logo, and NetFront are the registered trademarks and service marks of ACCESS Inc., in Japan, the U.S., and other countries.
* ZebOS is the registered trademark and services mark of IP Infusion Inc., in the U.S. and other countries.